Indonesia’s Bali is reopening to vacationers however not Australia, Singapore

The holiday island of Bali reopened to tourists from select countries on Thursday in what Indonesian authorities have dubbed “baby steps” to resume international travel.

Indonesia closed its borders to foreign travelers about 18 months ago.

Vaccinated tourists from 19 countries – including China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand as well as parts of Western Europe and the Arabian Gulf – can now travel to Bali and the Indonesian Riau Islands. Travelers are subject to a five-day quarantine and Covid-19 test.

The plans are considered a milestone for the tourism-dependent islands of the Southeast Asian country, which have been destroyed by the ongoing travel restrictions. But several large feeder markets for foreign tourism – including Bali’s No. 1 market from Australia and neighboring Singapore – have been removed from the list.

Talks with Singapore and Australia are ongoing

Speaking to CNBC, Indonesia’s Minister of Tourism and Creative Industries Sandiaga Uno said the current policy was based on scientific data and guidelines from a panel of epidemiologists. He added that the list will expand as data from additional markets support it.

We want to make sure that there is no stop-and-go.

Sandiaga Uno

Indonesia’s Minister for Tourism and Creative Industries

“We want to make sure it’s not a stop-and-go, but a smooth, incremental basis,” Uno told CNBC “Street signs.”

“[With] Singapore and Australia, we definitely continue, “he said, noting that talks are focused on ensuring that the reopening” is done on a safe basis first “.

Competition with quarantine-free travel destinations

Indonesia’s partial reopening comes as neighboring countries, including Thailand, Singapore and Parts of Vietnam, welcome vaccinated tourists from selected countries quarantine-free.

Indonesia – burned from a sloppy approach to quarantines that led to a surge in Covid-19 cases in July – is taking a more cautious approach. You have reason too. The country is preparing to host the G-20 summit in Bali in 2022.

“It will be purely scientific and will ensure that this process goes smoothly for the next 18 months as we are hosting G20 events here,” Uno said.

People visit Seminyak on January 5, 2021 on the Indonesian holiday island of Bali.

Sonny Tumbelaka | AFP | Getty Images

In addition to quarantines, which the UN said would be revised in good time, the islands are introducing new security measures such as hotel certifications and vaccination boosters.

“We are making sure that Bali gives priority to the entire island to get 100% boosters in the first quarter of next year,” he said.

Authorities hope the new measures will help revitalize Indonesia’s tourism industry, which accounts for around 4% of the country’s gross domestic product. However, Uno acknowledged that reaching the pre-pandemic number may take some time, as visitors are likely to opt for less frequent but longer stays in the near future.

Singapore on new journey lanes, Covid restrictions, dwelling with Covid

People walk at a pedestrian crossing along Orchard Road shopping district in Singapore on September 9, 2021.

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SINGAPORE – Singapore announced on Saturday that it would open new travel routes for vaccinated visitors from 8 additional countries.

It came when his Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong predicted that it will take anywhere from three to six months to achieve a “new normal” of living with Covid.

The Southeast Asian country will introduce more vaccinated travel routes (VTL) – with Canada, Denmark, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Great Britain and the USA, the Department of Transport said.

“All 8 countries are already open to travelers from Singapore. The VTLs will restore the quarantine-free two-way traffic between Singapore and you, “said Transport Minister S. Iswaran on Saturday.

We should respect Covid-19, but we must not let fear paralyze us.

Lee Hsien Loong

Prime Minister of Singapore

The initiative allows quarantine-free travel for vaccinated people, but travelers must take Covid-19 tests to ensure they don’t contract the virus before entering.

Applications will open on Tuesday, and travelers from those countries who meet the conditions will be able to enter Singapore from October 19, the minister said.

Singapore announced the initiative with South Korea on Friday. The city-state already has similar agreements with Germany and Brunei in September.

Living with Covid

In a national address on Saturday, Singapore’s Leader Lee explained when the “new normal” might occur.

“How will we know when we are coming to the new normal? It will be when we can relax the restrictions, just have light” [safe management measures] stay in place and the cases stay steady – maybe hundreds a day, but not increasing, “said Lee worried or feeling strange.”

He urged the nation not to be “paralyzed by fear” and said that “sooner or later each of us will encounter the virus – that means all older people will also encounter the virus”.

He said regions like Europe had reached this state, but “paid dearly for it” and lost many lives.

“It will take at least three months and maybe even six months to reach this new norm,” added Lee.

Tightening measures for unvaccinated people

Singapore will also tighten some Covid restrictions on unvaccinated people.

Those who are not vaccinated will be banned from entering shopping malls, Gan Kim Yong, Singapore’s trade minister and co-chair of the government’s coronavirus task force, said in a briefing on Saturday. Even vaccinated people are now restricted to two people entering shopping malls, he said.

Unvaccinated people are also not allowed to dine in coffee shops and food centers – open-air food restaurants in the country where this was previously allowed are limited to two people per table.

The Singapore Ministry of Health said recent measures are aimed at protecting those who are more vulnerable, such as the unvaccinated and the elderly.

These restrictions come into effect on Wednesday.

Singapore’s Covid Strategy

Singapore had maintained a zero-covid strategy for most of the pandemic but had started to open up after the population’s vaccination rate hit more than 80%. By October 7, 83% of the population had completed two doses of a Covid vaccine.

But after the restrictions were eased, the number of cases soared, hitting daily highs for the past few days, hovering over 3,400.

Authorities in Singapore last month Tightened Covid measures again to slow community broadcasts and protect hospitals from congestion. They reduced the group size for social gatherings from five to two and made working from home the standard to encourage vulnerable populations such as the elderly to stay at home as much as possible.

The total number of infections on Friday stands at 120,454 with 142 deaths. However, according to the country’s health ministry, 98.4% of those infected had no or mild symptoms in the past 28 days.

Singapore is seeing file Covid instances. That will not be a nasty factor

People walk at a pedestrian crossing along Orchard Road shopping district in Singapore on September 9, 2021.

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SINGAPORE – Singapore authorities have Tightened Covid measures as infections rise to new record highs in the country – but two health experts told CNBC they weren’t particularly concerned.

The country’s health system and workers have been strained by the increase in cases, and transmission needs to be slowed down to avoid more infections in vulnerable groups such as the elderly, the Ministry of Health said on Friday as more stringent measures were announced.

Over the next four weeks, the group size for social gatherings will be reduced from five to two people, and work from home will be the default.

Still, medical experts told CNBC that the latest wave of the virus may not be a bad thing given that Singapore’s population is highly vaccinated.

According to Teo Yik-Ying, dean of the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health at the National University of Singapore, many of the patients with Covid-19 have avoided serious illness and will receive further protection from future infections as antibodies fight the virus.

Around 82% of the population of Singapore have received two doses of a Covid vaccine. That is what the health authorities said on Sunday 98% of infected people had no or only mild symptoms in the past 28 days.

Case numbers may remain high for a few months, but the “vast majority” are well protected by the vaccines and will not get seriously ill, Teo said.

“For these people, infection has no short- or long-term health consequences, but can also trigger a natural immune response that reduces the likelihood of later infection,” he said in an email.

Potential Benefits of Natural Infection

It is “not necessarily a bad thing” to let the virus pass through the population slowly, said Ooi Eng Eong, a professor in the Duke-NUS Medical School’s emerging infectious diseases program.

The two main vaccines used in Singapore are developed by PfizerBioNTech or Modern, and both use messenger RNA technology.

mRNA vaccines instruct the body to produce something called a spike protein found on the surface of the virus that causes Covid-19. It’s harmless, but it stimulates the immune system to make antibodies so the body can fight infections better when exposed to the real virus.

“When we get a natural infection, our immune system can recognize a larger part of the virus,” as opposed to just the spike protein, Ooi said, adding that it could make a person more resistant to future variants.

Instead of an infection followed by a vaccination, we will have a vaccination followed by an infection, which I think is even better as the infection is usually mild.

Ooi Eng Eong

Professor at Duke-NUS Medical School

He said Singapore could reap the benefits of a natural infection seen in some parts of Europe and North America, but in reverse order.

“Instead of infection followed by vaccination, we’re going to have vaccination followed by infection, which I think is even better because [infections] will mostly be mild, “he said.

“Those [countries] which had high disease rates last year, is paying the price “for higher death rates,” he told CNBC.

More new variants?

When asked whether widespread transmission of Covid could lead to the emergence of new variants, Ooi admitted that it was difficult to predict what will happen.

However, he pointed out that future varieties will have to compete with the “highly transmissible” Delta variety, the world’s dominant variety.

“It’s very hard to beat Delta,” he said.

There were also concerns about it mu, a new interesting variantbut it couldn’t start because Delta was too strong, he said.

“But I think it’s still wise to be prepared that at some point something better than Delta might emerge, or that the new variant might escape the immunity created by vaccination,” Ooi said.

Local Covid situation

The number of serious Covid cases remains in line with expectations, according to the Singapore Ministry of Health.

As of Sunday, there were 172 cases requiring oxygen supplementation and 30 in the intensive care unit (ICU). The capacity of the intensive care unit can be increased to 1,600 beds if necessary, the government said.

The two professors who spoke to CNBC were split on whether new restrictions were needed.

Ooi said the current virus wave was “within the limits” of Singapore’s capacity. The new restrictions are “unnecessary” and will slow down efforts to live with the disease, he added.

While Teo agreed that the situation will not worsen, he said tightened measures are needed to give Singapore “air to breathe” to make adjustments to operations and hospital protocols.

Hospital beds are filling up because of the country’s “very cautious” approach, not because so many people are in need of acute medical care, Teo said.

The long-term plan against Covid is a combination of vaccination and natural infection to provide protection without overwhelming hospitals, he said, adding that he did not anticipate an increase in the death rate, but it did see an increase in the absolute numbers calculate.

As of Sunday, Singapore reported 87,892 Covid cases and 78 deaths since the pandemic began.

– CNBC’s Cory Stieg and Berkeley Lovelace Jr. contributed to this report.

Singapore tightens restrictions once more as Covid circumstances rise

A Housing & Development Board (HDB) public housing estate in Singapore.

Wei Leng Tay | Bloomberg | Getty Images

SINGAPORE – The Singapore government said Tuesday it would tighten Covid-19 measures again as new cases continue to rise, making the country’s reopening plans difficult.

Measures include reintroducing a ban on eating and limiting the maximum number of people who can gather from 5 to 2.

Covid-19 cases in Singapore have increased in recent weeks. Several clusters have emerged around karaoke lounges, wet markets and hawker food centers, which raise concerns among the authorities. Health Department data showed There were 480 joint cases last week, a significant increase from the 19 reported in the past seven days.

Given the current transmission rate, the number of cases can be expected to rise sharply as more people are likely to be infected.

“This is very worrying as it can affect many people in our community across the island,” the Singapore Ministry of Health said in a statement.

“As we continue to conduct extensive testing for people at risk of infection, we can expect the number of cases to increase in the coming days,” she added.

Between July 12 and July 18, an average of 46 cases were detected in the community per day – the highest number of cases since April 2020, the Ministry of Health said on Tuesday.

The latest restrictions are in effect from Thursday July 22nd to August 18th.

What are the latest measures?

Restrictions that will be re-imposed include:

  • The number of people who are allowed to gather will be reduced from 5 to a maximum of 2 people.
  • Households are only allowed to receive 2 different visitors each day, not counting grandparents who look after their grandchildren.
  • Eating out is prohibited, but restaurants, food courts, and hawker centers are allowed to offer take-away.
  • Exhausting sports and exercise activities indoors, which normally require the removal of masks, will be discontinued.
  • Large events such as live performances and wedding receptions are being scaled down and pre-event testing remains an essential measure.
  • Working from home remains the standard option for most businesses.

Tuesday’s measures followed when the city-state reported 172 new cases on Monday, including 163 locally transmitted infections. It was the highest number of daily reported cases since last August.

Most of these cases were linked to two large clusters – the Jurong Fishery Port, where fishmongers gather their stocks to sell in markets and food centers, and the so-called KTV lounges or karaoke bars – where customers interact with hostesses .

Jurong is fishing port closed until the end of the month to try to break the chain of transmission while the workers there were quarantined.

Singapore has banned nightclubs, bars and KTV lounges from operating since last year as activity on the premises is considered a high risk. However, some of these establishments continued to operate as food and beverage outlets. Some of them are suspected of violating the Covid-19 rules by providing hostess services.

Singapore e-commerce gamers face challenges in logistics and supply

Consumers are flocking to shop online as people want to avoid crowds due to the pandemic, but getting the goods into the buyer’s hands can be a challenge.

To capitalize on future opportunities, companies selling online must build on an infrastructure to support their business, said James Root, senior partner and chairman of Bain Futures, a global think tank at consulting firm Bain & Company.

“Ecommerce platforms need two infrastructures: They need a great digital payment. Second, they need a great supply chain, ”he told CNBC. “And both to manage cross-border products that come into a market like Singapore, to have fast customs clearance and easy paper processing for them.”

Ultimately, convenience is king … It’s the convenience of shopping when I want, where I want. And it’s 24/7.

“Adequate market skills” are also required, said Root.

“For example, parcel delivery locations near the large apartment blocks and very good transport on the last mile to get products into the hands of consumers at the speed we are teaching our consumers to expect now,” he says elaborated.

When Singapore imposed a “breaker” or partial lockdown at the height of the Covid-19 crisis last year, it exposed the delivery and logistics challenges e-commerce companies are facing.

On November 1, 2016, an employee picks up orders from the shelves of a warehouse in the newly opened SingPost Regional eCommerce Logistics Hub in Singapore.

ROSLAN RAHMAN | AFP | Getty Images

“Ultimately, convenience is king,” said Vaughan Ryan, managing director of E-Commerce Asia Pacific at NielsenIQ. “It’s the convenience of shopping when I want, where I want. And it’s available 24/7. This allows consumers to shop more often, especially in Singapore because we’re so digital.”

Still, he said, “Nobody moved fast enough.”

“The consumer has been ahead of the pace manufacturers and retailers can do – and is fast catching up.”

“There is still a lot of room for improvement in the logistical control of the whole thing. Even with the immediate movement control orders in the circuit breaker, the time windows for the actual online order were not available. That has improved a lot … There is a lot to be done in this area, “emphasized Ryan.

Closing the gap

Ninja Van, based in Singapore, is one of the fastest growing last mile logistics companies in Southeast Asia.

We connect the virtual world and the physical world – you buy something online and we make sure it is delivered to your doorstep, in a locker or in a nearby supermarket, “said Lai Chang Wen, CEO and Co-Founder of Ninja Van, a courier company in Southeast Asia.

He said Ninja Van turned to social media to help customers track their goods and improve the delivery process to cope with the changing times.

Ninja Van’s fleet of delivery trucks.

Ninja Van

“What we think is more important today is… the ability for us to interact with you through your favorite chat messenger. Whether Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Telegram, you choose it, you subscribe – and we give you real-time updates on where your driver is. “

“We think this is a new form of tracking that fits in with the way we use our phones, how we interact these days, where it’s not too intrusive and no one is necessarily calling you,” he said.

Ninja Van is currently working with ecommerce sellers in the city-state to bring out some of the supply-related disorders.

“What we see as an opportunity over the next few years is, we’re dealing with a lot of these e-commerce sellers, and they import a lot of their goods from overseas – we help them deliver (properly) to their customers,” said Lai .

“Could we help them with their supply chains too? We’re pretty much working on how to bridge the supply chains of all these ecommerce sellers, ”he added.

– Correction: This story has been updated to accurately reflect that Vaughan is Ryan from NielsenIQ.

Singapore Finance Minister Lawrence Wong on air journey, Covid outbreak

SINGAPORE – Singapore Treasury Secretary Lawrence Wong said “open and free” air travel in Asia remains unlikely in the short term as parts of the region struggle with spikes in Covid-19 infections.

“I’m a little less confident about the prospect for air travel,” said Wong Martin Soong as part of the virtual CNBC Evolve Global Summit.

“The region is still facing rolling waves of infection and vaccination rates for many countries in the region are still not high enough. So I don’t think we will see open and free travel in the region in particular. “Soon,” said the minister, who also heads Singapore’s coronavirus task force.

Singapore is a Southeast Asian city-state with no domestic air travel market. International travel suddenly stalled last year due to the pandemic, and that hit Singapore’s aviation and tourism sectors – two key drivers of economic growth.

For the most part … none of this is going to match what we had before Covid. So I’m afraid that air travel will take some time to recover.

Lawrence Wong

Finance Minister, Singapore

Wong said the Singapore government continues to speak to its counterparts in the region about establishing “safer travel routes”. He did not name the places where Singapore is being discussed.

“Maybe we have some travel precautions among the countries with low and stable infections. There may be some benefits for vaccinated travelers in terms of shorter quarantine times, ”the minister said.

“But for the most part… none of this will match what we had before Covid. So I’m afraid that air travel will take some time to recover, ”added Wong.

Zoom In Icon Arrows pointing outwards

Covid situation in Singapore

Asia, where the coronavirus was first detected, has seen an increase in infections in recent months. Places from developing countries – such as such India and Nepal – In more developed economies such as Japan and Taiwan, there has been a resurgence in cases.

Singapore also saw a renewed surge in cases last month after previous success in containing the outbreak – prompting the government to Tighten social distancing measures.

Wong said these measures had worked and that allowed the country to Gradually loosen restrictions again. But he warned that the situation could be unpredictable.

“You know, with this virus, you can never tell what will happen in the next few days because… there will always be surprises. It’s a very tricky virus. Every time you think you have it under control, it emerges in a new direction, “said Wong.

The minister reiterated the government’s goal to have at least 50% of the population fully vaccinated by August.

Singapore seems on track to achieve this goal. Around 2.7 million people – or 47% of the country’s population – received at least the first dose of the Covid vaccine on Monday, according to data current data from the Ministry of Health.

Singapore faces ‘twin challenges’ from local weather change, says minister

SINGAPORE – Singapore faces two challenges from climate change and is pursuing a new coastal protection plan to preserve the island’s most vulnerable coastlines, the country’s environment minister said.

“Our dual challenges are coastal flooding … (and) extreme rainstorms, which can lead to more intense inland flooding. So we need a system that will help us address both issues,” said Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the environment.

The project, launched Tuesday by Singapore’s national water agency PUB, will collect science and data on how best to mitigate and adjust coastal damage before creating a road map, Fu told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” on Wednesday .

Singapore, a small Southeast Asian city-state smaller than New York City, has worked for years to protect its coastline from sea level rise and other environmental damage.

Much of the land is fair 15 meters above mean sea levelwith about 30% of the land less than 5 meters above mean sea level. This has prompted authorities to introduce a minimum land reclamation of 4 meters – a number that would likely soon increase to 5 meters, Fu said.

“We want to understand the effects of all of these climate scenarios on our environment, sea water levels and also the tidal differences that are coming our way,” she said.

The first region to fall under the plan will be 57.8 km of coastline stretching across Singapore’s Greater South Waterfront. These include the city’s central business district, the east coast and Changi, which is where Singapore’s Changi Airport is located.

The skyline of the financial and business center can be seen in the background as people paddle along the beach at East Coast Park in Singapore on July 17, 2020.

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Singapore’s new coastal defense strategy gives private developers an opportunity to help shape their future, Fu said.

The study starts with a $ 5 billion fund and will be carried out over the next four years by a privately owned consortium of Singaporean and Dutch consulting firms. This process will in turn open the door for other private companies to offer green solutions, Fu said.

“For the investments that the government is making, I am sure that the private sector can benefit from building and delivering the tech solutions,” she said.

“Developers along the way will have an idea of ​​the plan we are pursuing,” she said. “So if you build infrastructure, if you build buildings, if you build offices, or if you build recreational facilities, you have to build with this science, this data and these assumptions.”

The project takes place amid increasing efforts to reduce the effects of climate change around the world.

Google Is Placing Cash Into That Quick Undersea Web Cable Between Eureka and Singapore, and They Assume It will be Carried out by 2023 | Misplaced Coast Outpost

Certainly a first: Google has literally put Eureka on one of its cards. source.

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You’ve heard about the big, new, fat fiberglass pipe you’re going to be laying between Singapore and Eureka? (If you haven’t, check out the links below.) It is slated to plunge into the depths from one of the world’s major financial capitals and head east with stops in Indonesia and Guam before crawling up the banks via the drainpipe of the old Samoa pulp mill, which extends about a mile to the sea.

It’s an exciting prospect! Already one The large international data center company has plans for a new facility in Arcataand it’s everyone’s greatest hope that more tech-dolla will rain on our shores once our new line is in order.

Which one is when According to Google, it is expected to be operational in the summer of 2023.

And when I say “according to Google”, I’m not saying that I just googled it. I’m saying Google literally says that. Because like that Company announced yesterday on its Google Cloud blogIt throws a lot of money on the Singapore-Eureka underwater line, code-named “Echo”.

“The architecture of Echo is designed for maximum reliability,” writes the Goog. “The unique Trans-Pacific route to Southeast Asia avoids overcrowded, traditional routes north and is expected to be operational in 2023. We look forward to the expanded connectivity that Echo will bring to Southeast Asia and create new opportunities for people and businesses in the region. “

And hopefully this region too.

Purchase males’s backpack with sporty model from a web-based retailer in Singapore

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